Newest Review: ... climes and turned into water for irrigating crops in drought stricken areas. I would have loved to have seen the risk assessment for t... more
That's one hell of a floater
Icebound - Dean Koontz
Member Name: Stewwydablue
Icebound - Dean Koontz
Advantages: Ok to get if you have to have all of Koontz's books
Disadvantages: Quite disappointing compared to the master's other work
I'm on a self imposed quest at the moment to complete my Dean Koontz collection, but my "rules" insist I only source the books from either charity shops or car-boot sales. Here's a review about another charity shop lucky find - Icebound. (The charity shop in question by the way is Barnados in Plymouth - they do four books for 99p, amazing value). The book was originally called Prison of Ice and was first released under a pseudonym (David Axton) in the 70s, and this version was touched up by Koontz and released in 1995. It's still in print today.
A group of scientists are stranded on an iceberg in the Arctic Ocean after an undersea earthquake dislodged their chunk of ice. The problem is though, the section of berg they're floating on has had 50 holes drilled it - each one full of explosives and timed to explode in 12 hours. They'd planted the explosives deliberately - as part of an experiment to see if an iceberg could be towed to warmer climes and turned into water for irrigating crops in drought stricken areas. I would have loved to have seen the risk assessment for that - bet they hadn't factored in for an undersea quake to leave them sitting on a ticking time bomb.
As they struggle to survive and somehow remove as many explosives from the ice as they can, to make things worse there is a member of the group who is trying to kill at least one of the other members.
A twist of fate sees a Russian spy submarine break its cover and offer assistance with rescuing the team - but it's not going to be easy in the middle of a storm and with no accessible landing points on the berg. It's a suspense / thriller with a few icy twists along the way.
Koontz typically writes books with a few of different types of plots - they are either supernatural crime chillers, or supernatural conspiracies, and then there's the left of field like the "Odd" series and his "Frankenstein" books, but these still have elements of the classic Koontz style. This book is hard to fit into any of those categories and at one point part way through the book, I had to look at the spine to check that his name really was on the book.
I would compare this book to some of Matthew Reilly's adventure / suspense novels for it's style and type of plot. There's also an element of lingering paranoia about 'zose Russians who turn up and it was easy to tell that the book had first been written during the cold war and then re-touched a few short years after the fall of the wall. It was interesting to note the attitude towards the Russians in his writing - very much a sign of the times and a reflection of the fear most westerners had about the nuclear stalemate situation with our new allies back then.
Koontz has been on record as saying that this book was a homage to people like Clancy, and to books like Ice Station Zebra. I think he'd chose his words very carefully there - I agree that it's a homage to but in no way can be held as an equal to those sort of books. If you want to read the best of the books in this style, read Maclean.
With regret, I have to say that this book was average at best. As a big Koontz fan, I only finished it out of loyalty and to satisfy my OCD tendencies when it comes to reading all of the books from an author that I like. I would only recommend it to Koontz obsessives, those that, like me have to acquire all of his books. On a more positive note, I don't consider the book as an entire waste of five hours of my life so will revise my initial thoughts about a star rating and award the book 2 stars.
If you come across this book and have never read a Koontz novel before, please don't judge him too harshly and think that all of his books are like this. If that were the case, you would probably not want to read any of his other work. Let me recommend that you make a decent brew, go to bed earlier one night and instead read Intensity or The Watchers, both by Koontz. You won't regret it. But you might regret reading Icebound.
RRP £7.99 - although it's available brand new on Amazon for £5.99
Summary: Not one of Koontz's classics